Fostering pets reduces overcrowding in shelters and helps save more animals in need. It is also a unique opportunity to have the joy of keeping a dog, a cat or another adorable 'kid' without making a commitment for life. For a pet, this is a chance to live in a caring home and recover from trauma.
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It sees like a win-win for everyone, but if you are still in doubt, here are the most common animal fostering myths debunked by the ASPCA.
1. You can’t foster in a small house
There are all creatures big and small in need of a temporary home out there, and the size of your home is never a problem. Fostering a pet requires less space than you may think.
Cats and small dogs don’t need more than a small room. A big dog may take a lot of space in your heart and on your sofa but a large house and a yard are not a must.
What foster pets need more than space are your love and care, and a corner to stretch their legs.
2. You can’t foster if you already have a pet
Animal rescues and shelters take matchmaking seriously and make sure fostering doesn’t pose any danger to either house or foster ‘kid’. You won’t be allowed to take in a kitten if your dog breed’s trait is chasing after felines and trying to have them for dinner.
But there will be plenty of abandoned animals that will not only match but make great friends with your pet, giving them the unique opportunity to socialise with another four-legged creature under the same roof.
Again, everyone in this situation is a winner.
3. You can’t foster because you’ll get too attached
It’s not easy to say goodbye to an adorable foster ‘kid’, and there are plenty of foster-turned-forever stories with happy endings. But remember that you will never be forced to adopt the foster pet, and can take pride in giving them a loving home and a better future.
Besides, way too many animals still need you, and you can always foster again.
4. I can’t foster if I have children
Most children love animals, and an opportunity to spend some time with one is the best gift you can make. It will also help them learn to love and care for other living beings responsibly.
Though not all pets are compatible with small children, the shelter will always make sure you get the one that suits your family's situation.
Children are never an obstacle in the way of fostering, but if you are really worried, you can opt for a cat or a kitten. Largely harmless and cute, they will make the whole household happy.
5. I can’t foster because it’s expensive
You are not required to foster a pet at your own expense. All that is needed from you is a roof above your head, a cover of basic needs, a corner to stretch all four legs, and most importantly, love and care. Many foster programs will provide basics such as food and cat litter, in the case of felines, and take care of all the vet costs. Your pet might even come with accessories such as clothes and toys!
So, fostering is pretty much free.